By O’star Eze
Residents of Umungada village, Umuomaku in Orumba South local government area of Anambra state have been thrown into mourning following the tragic death of a 21-year-old nursing mother as she tried to save her father from falling to his death.
Orient Daily learnt that Miss Chinwendu Juliet Ike (Beauty) was crushed on August 4 while trying to save her father, Mr. Samuel Ike who fell from a tree.
The deceased’s mother, Franca Ike, told this paper that Chinwendu dashed out the moment she heard the frantic call from her father for help as he clung desperately on a pear fruit branch, awaiting imminent fall. Unknown to her daughter, death was awaiting her.
Ike disclosed that she had warned her husband to stop climbing trees on Sundays, a warning that fell on deaf ears.
“That Sunday, Samuel defied my warning. He was on the tree plucking pears when the branch he was standing on broke.
“He fell on another branch and, as he clung unto that branch helplessly, he started calling for help. Chinwendu, who heard the call, ran out to the backyard and met the falling body of her father who had already slipped from the second branch.
“She made to catch him but his head hit her on the chest.”
Chinwendu was said to have seemed all right after fall until she started feeling uncomfortable around her chest, suddenly falling onto the floor unconscious. She was to be confirmed dead in an Umuchu hospital later, reportedly, as a result of ‘organ failure’.
“It was the next day, after series of prayers by various prayer groups that came to our house without Chinwendu’s body moving that the family had to accept the medical report the she was dead and she was buried in the compound. The pear tree was also cut down by members of the kindred.”
Late Chinwendu, a graduate of God’s Own Secondary School, Umuchu, where she was senior prefect in her set, could not continue with her education before her demise. She was nursing a baby who turned six months the very day her mother died. The baby was had to be put under the care of a relative. She also has a twin brother, Chinonso, said to be a trader apprentice in Lagos and who had not come home as at the time of file of report.
The deceased’s mother said that she had been bedridden for nine months. Her first son, who should be in his late twenties, was also found looking sullen and sick. He was said to have experienced convulsion as a baby and been mentally unstable ever since.
A member of the family who spoke to Orient Daily on the basis of anonymity said that a prominent member of that family had confessed to being the architect of the Chinwendu’s mother’s sickness as well as her (deceased’s) death.
According to her, the family member “was a good youngster who suddenly became wild and a menace. He used to engage in petty theft and fetish practices and had been threatening to kill the family members who were against his evil ways.
This was because he had, about a year ago, confessed that “after he was beaten up by the village youths about a year ago for alleged stealing, he had reported all those who aided and abetted his public flogging to a deity in Nawfija, promising the deity that he would present it a cow if it gave him justice. However, when the matter was heard by the deity, he was found guilty. He then reneged on his promise and went to another native doctor who told him that the Nawfija priest would come for him and his family if he did not redeem his pledge.
“He said that he had gone around the compound with a cockerel a day before the tragic incident and was targeting his mother to die unaware that ‘the grim reaper’ would go for his sister.”
Although it was reported that the village youth arrested and beat him up, accusing him of being behind Chinwendu’s death, the alleged confessor was away from home when Orient Daily visited the community.
By O’star Eze